Reviews of Hawksbill Station/Press Enter ■ (1990)
Review by clong (2006-01-22)
An enjoyable double bill.
The Varley is the better story, an early "what happens if computer networks become self aware?" tale. It's a bit dated by now, but still works pretty well. It definitely took me back in time to the early 80s and the then emerging world of personal computers. The beginning of the story is particularly effective. The young Vietnamese emigree computer whiz who becomes the protagonist's love interest is much more interesting and complicated character than you might expect.
The Silverberg starts with a really cool basic concept, but doesn't do much with it. I never developed much empathy for the protagonist, Barrett. When we finally learn the secret of the mysterious Hahn, it feels like a bit of a cop out. It's a time travel story with an interesting twist, but ultimately left me disappointed.